Race to Reno

Submitted into Contest #60 in response to: Write a funny post-apocalyptic story.... view prompt

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Funny Adventure

“What a piece of junk.” Tommy shot this remark indignantly at Ben. “Complaining isn’t going to help us get this thing to work,” corrected Ben. “Remember when your dad bought you that blue dirt bike?” asked Tommy. “Yeah I remember it. I also remember when you sent it flying off the bridge into the river,” answered Ben. “Sorry about that, but it was awesome,” said Tommy. Ben agreed that it was an interesting sight to see his dirt bike launched into a river. The pair of friends laughed and continued to work on their golf cart. “Hand me that wrench over there,” demanded Ben. Tommy with his infinite knowledge of tools gave Ben a screwdriver instead. Ben looked at it with sarcastic disgust and threw it against the garage wall. “Didn’t your dad ever teach you anything about tools?” asked Ben sarcastically. Tommy replied, “You know my dad was never really around.” “I forgot about that. Dads are overrated anyway,” returned Ben. The two comrades left the garage to take a break from their toil and search the horizon for Mark. “Do you think the Wastelanders got him?” asked Tommy anxiously. Ben thought for a moment and said, “I don’t think they did. Mark’s a smooth talker and can get out of anything.” After a few minutes, Tommy and Ben decided to return to the garage and continue working on the cart. To their surprise, Mark was staring at the golf cart with a gaze of bewilderment in the garage. “You guys haven’t finished repairing this load of garbage yet?” Mark asked. Ben replied, “How long does it take to get a few spare parts?” “It’s somewhat difficult to find spare parts after an apocalypse!” shouted Mark. Tommy interrupted, “We’re almost finished fixing it. Did you get the parts we need?” Mark nodded, “Yeah I found what we need. It wasn’t easy though, and we have a serious problem.” Ben guessed what the problem was, “Are the people that you stole these parts from chasing you?” Mark answered, “No. The Wastelanders are about to come here.” Ben and Tommy shouted, “What?” “I thought they were only in California,” said Tommy. Mark replied, “They’re in California, but they’re moving into other states. I talked to some traveling merchants from a caravan, and they swore that the Wastelanders are looking to take over Vegas.” Tommy hysterically said, “That’s where we are.” “Thanks for giving me a geography lesson on my current location,” said Ben sarcastically. “Forget fixing this pile of crap; let’s get out of here,” cried Tommy. “That’s a great idea, you goon. How far are we going to make it on foot? Maybe a quarter of a mile,” suggested Ben. Mark silenced them and said, “It shouldn’t take longer than a few hours to fix it now, and we have maybe a day or two before those savages get here.” Ben asked, “Where are we going to go?” Mark answered, “Reno should be safe, and it’s not very far away.” “Won’t the Wastelanders come to Reno after Las Vegas?” asked Tommy. Mark shook his head, “They’re only interested in major cities. Cities such as Los Angeles and Las Vegas had larger populations before all the nuclear bombs hit, and they still have a lot of people in and around them now. The Wastelanders need a constant stream of new recruits and victims; large cities provide both which makes them prime real estate.” Tommy and Ben performed their signature handshake and shouted, “We’re going to Reno!” The team worked diligently through the night and finished repairing their golf cart around midnight. Ben awoke at first light in the morning and rudely awakened Tommy and Mark. “Let’s get rolling boys,” Ben announced like thunder. “What time is it?” Tommy asked. Ben replied, “It’s time for sleeping beauty to get up.” Tommy and Mark complied, and the trio began their journey to Reno. “Can’t this thing go any faster?” Mark demanded to know. Ben replied scornfully, “It’s a Frankenstein golf cart, you idiot; it doesn’t move very fast. Slow and steady wins the race.” Tommy looked back at what was left of Las Vegas and said, “That’s where we’ve lived for our whole lives. I’m really going to miss it.” “It looked so much better before the bombs fell,” remarked Mark. Ben agreed and added, “Now it looks like a huge dumpster fire. What a shame.” Eventually, after what seemed like a millennium, the trio arrived in Reno. “This place doesn’t look that bad,” Ben remarked. The group stopped and settled into a campground littered with tents located on the outskirts of the city. “It looks like we outran the Wastelanders,” said Tommy triumphantly. Mark attempted to change the subject, but it was too late. An old woman in a tethered shirt and ripped pants asked, “Are the Wastelanders chasing you boys?” “Not exactly. We’re from Las Vegas, and our friend, Mark, went into California to barter for spare parts to fix our golf cart with. He said the Wastelanders were about to take over Vegas. We left Vegas and came here,” explained Tommy while patting Mark on the back as if to thank him. The inquisitive woman squinted her brown eyes and said, “How long have you boys known each other? Ben answered, “Since our first year of high school.” “That’s interesting,” the old woman said. She continued, “Back in my day, friends didn’t lie to each other. Mark is lying to you two.” Ben and Tommy’s countenance changed into deep confusion at her declaration. The woman explained, saying, “I was recruited by the Wastelanders a few years ago. They wanted me to convince younger generations to join them, hoping that these young people would have enough energy and vigor to restore peace and order to California. At this point, this organization wasn’t called the Wastelanders; they called themselves the League of Restoration. I complied, and I convinced many young folks to join them. In time, however, the League began to change from a peaceful organization into an authoritarian dictatorship. Instead of asking people to obey their laws and assimilate to their way of doing things, they began to force people to adopt their ways. After I saw this trend of atrocious behavior from them, I left and came here.” “Wow,” said Tommy. Ben interrupted, “That’s a nice story, old lady, but you haven’t told us how you know that Mark is lying to us.” The old lady rolled her eyes and declared, “The Wastelanders aren’t interested in Las Vegas anymore than one of you wanting to take me out on a date. In fact, they can barely be considered an organized group anymore. Many members left after they changed their tactics which led to the leadership crumbling. All that’s left of them are maybe a couple hundred hooligans in California.” Mark shouted that she was a liar and walked away suddenly. Ben and Tommy followed him and asked him if he had lied to them. Mark shook his head, but finally admitted that he lied about their impending doom from the Wastelanders. Mark defended himself, “I asked you two so many times about leaving that cesspool, and every time all I heard back from you two clowns was how this town is the only place we’ve ever lived and shouldn’t leave our home. I got fed up with you guys’ apathy, so I lied to get us out of there.” Ben, who was genuinely shocked by this admission, asked, “Why did you want to come to Reno?” “Reno is the closest place with any opportunity in it. People around here have an entrepreneurial spirit about them, and they’re starting to rebuild the world,” answered Mark. He continued, “I knew the only way to get you two morons out of Vegas was to scare you, so that’s what I did. I’m sorry that I lied to you guys, but I had to in order for us to get out of there.” Ben and Tommy glanced at each other for a moment, then Ben looked at Mark and said, “You had absolutely no right to trick us into leaving home. You could have left on your own without using us.” Mark interrupted, “Why do you two only strive to be comfortable? Even in high school, you guys were so apathetic! I’m trying to help you and Tommy, but you’re too afraid to get out of your comfort zone. I could have made it here by myself, but I wanted my best friends to come with me and experience a better life.” Tommy took a step toward Mark and said, “We were happy in Vegas. There might be more opportunity here, but Reno isn’t our home.” Losing his temper, Mark exclaimed, “We’re not in high school anymore! We’re in our twenties now, and there was a nuclear war right after we graduated. There is no such thing as home anymore. We all need to grow up, take responsibility for our actions, and move on with our lives.” Ben and Tommy hung their heads and stared at the ground, contemplating what Mark said. Ben glanced at Mark and said, “That was a little dramatic.” The three friends laughed, “I guess you’re right. There was nothing left in Vegas; we only stayed there because we were comfortable. This place does look much better, and I think we can work with the people here to rebuild the world,” announced Ben. Tommy agreed and said, “That was a pretty convincing story you told us to get out of Vegas. How long did it take you to come up with it?” “About two minutes. When I came back from California and saw how much progress you guys had made on the cart, I knew I had to get us out of there immediately. I stood there and stared at the cart, thinking of some way to make you two leave with me,” Mark replied. Suddenly, Mark exclaimed that he had an idea. “Oh boy,” remarked Ben. Mark snickered and said, “We should use the golf cart to give people rides to wherever they want to go. We can give them a ride in exchange for supplies, food, and whatever else people have.” After Mark finished sharing his idea, a young woman approached and asked, “Do one of you own that golf cart over there?” “Yeah,” replied Ben. The young woman smiled, “I need to get to the other side of town, and I was wondering if one of you could give me a ride. I can give you some food for your trouble.” The trio looked at each other triumphantly and all three said, “The Reno Racers are at your service.” 

September 23, 2020 23:34

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